He has never slept well, the kind of kid that takes hours to fall asleep & wakes every 20mins all night long. He's finally waking less but bedtime still takes hours.
The problem is, he gets completely out of control & violent at bedtime.
I could maybe deal with it if he were in another room playing or jumping or singing or whatever. But he is never, ever in another room (due to his anxiety). He is in our room (family bed), and we are trying to sleep! Or at least wind down. Instead he is jumping on our heads, pulling our hair, biting, hitting, kicking, etc. Plus hours & hours of screaming. He hates bedtime, hates night, hates laying down, hates sleeping.
I just don't know what to do anymore.
I've tried all the traditional things -- strict routine, loose routine, no routine, earlier bedtime, later bedtime, no bedtime, books, bath, snack, drink, special stuffed toy, rocking him, cuddling him, foot rubs, white noise, no noise, darkness, light, ignoring him, talking to him, extra outdoor time, warmer room, cooler room, heavy blankets, light blankets, different pjs, calms forte, chamomile, chiropractor, etc. We try firm pressure, light touch, no touch, heavy work, fine motor work, meditation, social stories, guided imagery, progressive relaxation, deep breathing, distraction, a worry box, various techniques to keep nightmares at bay, rearranging all our furniture to make it feel safer...
I am so out of ideas.
He is seldom asleep before 11pm or midnight. He is chronically overtired, DH is only getting 4-6 hours of sleep (and has high sleep needs, needs more like 9-10 hours), and I have a chronic illness and the lack of sleep and DS's physical attacks are taking a huge toll on me. We are all completely miserable. He doesn't nap (hasn't in 2 years) and he requires constant non-stop interaction all day long (not to mention constant supervision because if by some random stroke of luck he has ventured off on his own for 30 seconds, he is destroying something) so DH and I are so totally spent by bedtime as it is.
And I just need to vent, too, to people who get it. When I bring it up to my friends I get some sympathetic Oh, I know, if our routine gets thrown off DD takes nearly an hour to go to sleep! or something. They just don't get it. No one seems to get what it's like to pour every ounce of myself into helping him every single night to no avail, to be doing "all the right things" without effect, to be laying there in extreme pain & utter exhaustion while he screams and kicks me, to be witnessing that level of fear and anxiety and being so completely helpless.
I can't take it anymore.